GS 2, MAINS: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Community Policing is a policy and a strategy aimed at achieving more effective and efficient crime control, reduced fear of crime, improved quality of life, improved police services and police legitimacy, through a proactive reliance on community resources that seeks to change crime-causing conditions.
It assumes a need for greater accountability of police, greater public share in decision making and greater concern for civil rights and liberties.
Community Policing from the above definition implies that it is a policing strategy and philosophy based on the notion that community interaction and support can help control crime and reduce fear, with community members helping to identify and detain suspects and bring local problems to the attention of police.
Community policing is an organizational philosophy that encompasses all aspects of policing; it is not merely an isolated program or event. This philosophy is based on three core concepts: community partnerships, problem solving, and organizational change.
NEED FOR COMMUNITY POLICING IN INDIA:
Law and order is a state subject under the Constitution of India. It is a pity that while the Constitution empowers the states to enact their own laws, most of them still retain the essential characteristics of the colonial Indian Police Act, 1861, which was framed to subjugate the ‘native’ Indians.
Police establishments across India continue to function largely in the same casual and repressive fashion as the colonial masters had envisioned. They follow a rigid, unilinear hierarchy, with all the trappings of pomp and power, often behaving as the private armies of the new masters. This is hardly suited to the changing needs of the world’s largest democracy.
Feedback mechanisms like citizen’s satisfaction surveys have resulted in better understanding of crimes and higher levels of community policing. This transformation has also been shaped by the legitimate demands of the citizens and their participation in governance.
COMMUNITY POLICING EXPERIMENTS IN INDIA:
Janamaithri Suraksha Project of Kerala: Janamaithri Suraksha Project is the community policing project of the Kerala Police. The project is structured so as to facilitate closer community involvement in ensuring security and safety within communities. It is a project to professionally strengthen Police and increase its accessibility to the needy public through close interaction with and better understanding of the public. Through the Beat Officers, every citizen living in the area will be known to the Police and every citizen will be acquainted with the Beat Officers.
Friends of Police, Tamil Nadu: The Friends of Police is a holistic and pro-active concept that lends a psychological approach to policing. It is a true example of police public partnership where citizens have been empowered and with the help of the police. Friends of Police Provide opportunities for ordinary Citizens to effectively contribute to the Prevention and Detection of Crime. Any member of the Public, Male or Female who is not involved Civil or Criminal Case can become a member of FOP. The members of Friends of Police can provide useful information leading to solving of crimes.
‘AASWAS- Assam Police: This initiative was taken by the Assam police to combat violence and insurgency and also to extend gestures of affection towards children and those undergoing trauma. Aaswas has identified a cluster of seven villages in each of seven districts where there is a history of ethnic or terrorist violence and such campaigns have integrated the community with the police and have evoked a tremendous response.
There is an urgent need to incorporate global standards in local community policing initiatives which should not only be institutionalized but internalized as well in police functioning that requires regular review.
A method to continually gauge the success of community policing initiatives is to add community engagement and problem-solving techniques to internal discussions about crime issues and strategy. By routinely discussing crime issues and strategies to engage community members in solving those issues, officers will be better prepared to work collaboratively with community members to address problems.
There is also a need to move away from the colonial model of authority towards a service-oriented practice in the police services.
A firm commitment by the local police departments to community policing is more important than having the federal government pay large funds.
The police department will have to move away from special unit/specific programs based strategies, which are useful for establishing the concept in the department. Every officer in the department must genuinely accept the idea that crime prevention and service functions are just as important as law enforcement. On the other hand, the community members must also be committed in realizing their essential role in crime prevention.
PREVIOUS YEARS UPSC MAINS QUESTIONS:
Initially Civil services in India were designed to achieve the goals of neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in Civil Services? Comment. (2017)
The setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate non-profitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators. (2014)